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Understanding and Managing Variability

  1. Hyun-Soo Ahn

Published Online: 15 FEB 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470400531.eorms0933

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

How to Cite

Ahn, H.-S. 2011. Understanding and Managing Variability. Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science. .

Author Information

  1. University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 FEB 2011

Abstract

Variability exists in almost all production and manufacturing systems. Demand and product mix may vary over time, as may the processing capacity of the system and the availability of raw materials and components. Variability in demand or manufacturing processes makes seamless alignment of demand and supply impossible and degrades system performance. Understanding the effects of variability and how to effectively manage them are critical elements to the design and control of production and service systems. This article discusses the sources and types of variability, the effect of variability in manufacturing systems, and managerial tools to mitigate the adverse effects of variability.

Keywords:

  • variability;
  • coefficient of variation;
  • mitigation of variability;
  • variability pooling;
  • effect of operational variability